Neighborhoods that have high traffic volumes and speeds cause fear for childrens safety.
They explored their neighborhoods regularly on bike or on foot that offered them independence and resulted in self-assurance.By contrast, children today are driven to nearly all of their activities and only 10 percent walk to school every day. The journey between home and school has become longer and more treacherous because of decades of auto-oriented suburbanization.A walking audit is a report done by parents, school administrators and other community members who tour the school property and adjacent neighborhoods to look for routes students can safely use to get to school.Audits reveal what students experience during their walk to school and give school teams firsthand evidence of existing safety problems.They work together to assess attitudes and behaviors of parents and students, analyze the physical environment leading to the school and research related policies.
The teams then make recommendations and create an action plan. The school principal or other school administrator generally has the final word on program policy and implementation.
Studies have shown that physically active kids have improved mood and concentration, a stronger self-image and more self-confidence.
Physically active kids also have fewer chronic health problems and report lower levels of smoking and alcohol consumption. Research shows that walking or riding is childrens preferred method of getting to school.
However, the current reliance on automobiles to transport children represents a different kind of risk: the long-term risks from a sedentary lifestyle.
The portion of children who are overweight or obese has tripled in the last 25 years.
This pattern has been compounded by the trend towards building new schools at a distance from residential areas.